Ball State defensive tackle John Whitman III and defensive end Sean Hammonds Jr. celebrate a fumble recovery against Indiana University at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10. The Cardinals (1-1) play their home opener against Eastern Kentucky. Grace Hollars // DN
Ball State football vs. Eastern Kentucky quarter updates
Eastern Kentucky's Maty Mauk made his first big pass play of the game, hitting Ryan Markush down the left sideline for 46 yards. A couple plays later, the Cardinals got in the backfield again for their sixth sack of the game. After the punt, Ball State took over deep in its own territory.
Ball State's receivers continued to shine in Mabon's absence, as Riley Neal connected with Devin Reece for a 42-yard gain down the middle of the field. Senior Teddy Williamson punched it in for the Cardinals, who lead 41-0 with 5:49 left in the game.
The Colonels broke up the shutout with a 7-play, 77-yard drive on their next drive. Mauk made plays with his legs as well as his arm, and hit Devin Borders down the right side for a 28-yard touchdown. After the extra point, Ball State was up 41-7 with 3:29 left.
Jack Milas entered the game at quarterback at Ball State. The Cardinals attempted to run out the clock, but Malik Dunner fumbled, and the Colonels recovered.
Mauk completed another long pass down the left side before Daryl McCleskey punched it in from a yard out. After the score, Ball State is still ahead 41-14 with 1:26 left on the clock.
The Cardinals ran out the clock after receiving the kickoff. Ball State improves to 2-1 with a 41-14 victory.
The Cardinals received the second-half kickoff, but couldn't put up any points. The biggest play of the drive came on a screen pass from Riley Neal to running back Darian Green for 17 yards. Kyle Schmidt pinned the Colonels down at the 1-yard line with a bouncing punt.
KeVonn Mabon returned the kick to open the half, but hasn't returned since.
Ball State's next drive went 55 yards on 13 plays, ending with a 1-yard touchdown run by James Gilbert. It was Gilbert's first score since he rushed for two in Week 1. Ball State leads 34-0 with 5:17 left in the quarter.
Eastern Kentucky pinned Ball State at the 5-yard line with a punt after the next drive stalled. The Cardinals moved the chains, but Neal was hit on third down and his pass fell incomplete. The Colonels took over at their 38 after the punt.
After Anthony Winbush recorded his second sack of the game, Eastern Kentucky ran one more play before the clock ran out.
At the end of the third quarter, Ball State is leading Eastern Kentucky 34-0.
On the first play of the quarter, new Eastern Kentucky quarterback Bennie Coney was hit from the blind side on 3rd-and-13. Cornerback Marc Walton came up with the interception, and Ball State took over at the opponent's 21.
Ball State couldn't do much with the short field after the interception, and settled for a field goal. Morgan Hagee's 32-yard kick extended the lead to 17-0.
The defense picked up right where it left off on Eastern Kentucky's next drive. Ball State brought pressure on third down, and senior Martez Hester picked off Coney and returned it to the Colonels' 20-yard line.
Riley Neal stayed perfect on the next drive, capping it off with a touchdown pass to Damon Hazelton Jr. Neal is 16-16 for 107 yards and two touchdowns at this point in the game. Ball State is leading 24-0 after the score.
After a short Eastern Kentucky punt, Ball State went for it on fourth down but came up short. The Colonels took over at their own 32-yard line.
Ball State's offense started slowing down midway through the quarter, and the teams traded a couple punts. The Colonels were called for fair catch interference with 3:27 left in the half, setting the Cardinals up at their own 44-yard line.
Neal found Mabon three times for 22 yards on the next drive. The Cardinals got down to the Eastern Kentucky 24-yard line before Neal barely missed Sam Brunner in the end zone on third down. Morgan Hagee hit another field goal, this one from 41 yards, to put Ball State up 27-0.
At the half, Ball State holds a 27-0 lead over Eastern Kentucky.
Eastern Kentucky won the toss, and chose to receive to start the game. The Colonels began their drive at their own 21-yard line.
The Cardinals tallied two sacks on the opening drive, including one by Aaron Taylor right at midfield, but Missouri transfer Maty Mauk marched the Colonels down to the Ball State 27. The drive stalled, however, and the Cardinals' offense took over.
Quarterback Riley Neal and the passing game got into an early rhythm against the Eastern Kentucky secondary. Neal finished 5-5 for 43 yards on the drive, capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass to Devin Reece. After the extra point, Ball State took a 7-0 lead.
Defensive end Josh Posley picked up Ball State's third sack of the game on second down, but was slow to get up after the play. The Cardinals took over at their own 19 after a punt and block in the back penalty on the return.
Ball State's drive stalled, but a roughing the punter penalty kept the drive alive. Neal stayed hot through the air, hitting Mabon down the left sideline for a 31-yard gain. The Cardinals ran a flea-flicker and Neal hit Mabon in the back of the end zone, but it was ruled incomplete. But a personal foul gave Neal a 1st-and-10 at the Colonels' 12-yard line.
Neal ran it in on the next play, extending Ball State's lead to 14-0 with 38 seconds left.
At the end of the first quarter, Ball State leads Eastern Kentucky 14-0.